Formula 1's Billionaire Boss Takes Kidnappers To Court

Photo credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

After allegedly kidnapping the mother-in-law of Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone, seven people including Ecclestone’s own former helicopter pilot now must face their accusers in a São Paulo court. Ecclestone doesn’t get mad, Ecclestone gets even.

Fun fact about the rich and powerful: they can afford good lawyers.

On Thursday, Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana Flosi and her mother Aparecida Schunck came face-to-face with Schunck’s alleged kidnappers in court, reports Autoweek. Schunck was kidnapped for a $37 million ransom and held for nine days. Her kidnappers reportedly threatened to behead her, however, she was safely rescued by Brazilian authorities without any ransom being paid.

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Thursday’s court proceedings lasted for three hours, and Flosi explained in Autoweek that it was tough for her to relive the incident:

Today was a very difficult day. We had to hear details of what happened, and remember the despair of those days when my mother was missing. Now we just hope that the judiciary can continue the work of the police and give deserved and appropriate penalties for this crime.

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As for appropriate penalties, I think it’s a safe bet those will err on the side of severe. One does not just threaten to behead one of Bernie’s relatives and get away with it.

Ecclestone is infamous for paying his own way out of jail time for German bribery charges. He’s fairly adept at navigating various countries’ legal systems. The last place I would want to be is facing off against that family in court.

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According to Autoweek, a verdict is expected in 2017.

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About the author

Stef Schrader

Contributor, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.